Lawmakers seek probe of flawed e-passportsBy Gil C. Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
House members are calling for an investigation on the allegedly flawed electronic passports produced by a French company because of its adverse impact on national security.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the defective e-passports posed a security nightmare to authorities, considering that their poor quality would make them prone to counterfeiting.
Colmenares said that the e-passport fiasco has cast more doubts on its contractor, Oberthur Technologies, which had been lambasted previously for coming out with the “Arrovo” bills that misspelled the surname of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in a series of P100 bills it produced for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo said he would use the coming budget hearings to ask Department of Foreign Affairs officials to explain why it accepted the e-passports produced by Oberthur despite falling below basic quality standards.
Alagad party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta cited several complaints from holders that the security covers of e-passports were substandard and easily ripped.